The Renaissances of the Twelfth Century Literatureand Philosophy
Aristotle, Logic, and Theology • Appeal of Aristotle • Logic • Drive to make faith reasonable • Anselm’s ontological proof: Proslogion • Abelard Sic et Non, Glosses on Porphyry (source 5.14) • Averroes: called “the Commentator” • Female monasticism • Heloise (source 5.16) • Heloise's letter asks Abelard, her onetime husband and the founder of her order of nuns, for advice about a Rule for women. Why does she consider Benedict's Rule to be unsuitable? What do you conclude about her understanding of the differences from men and women on the basis of this letter? • Terms: • universals • Questions: • What was St. Bernard's objection to the new approach to learning? • Why was Aristotle so important? • Try as far as you are able to follow Abelard's refutation of the realist position regarding universals. • Anselm's Proslogium is one of the masterpieces of medieval intellectual history. It's a difficult work; just do the best you can to unpack the ontological argument.
Universities: Structure and Curriculum • The rise of the university • Guild system • Medieval textbooks • Peter Lombard’s Sentences • Gratian’s Decretum • Justinian’s Corpus iuriscivilis • Glosses • Gilbert of Poitiers, GlossaOrdinaria (sources 5.15, 5.16, Plates 5.6, 5.7) • In both the picture and the translation of Gilbert of Poitiers' Gloss on Psalm 101, note what the glossator considers to be important. How does the arrangement of the gloss on the page signal its relationship to the original text? Do the same exercise for the GlossaOrdinaria. How do the two compare? • Science • Trotula (source 5.17) • The Trotula has an astonishing mixture of herbal medicine and outright magic. How do you account for some of the recommendations given here? • Terms: • Galen, four humors • Fibonacci sequence • astrolabe • Seven liberal arts • Questions: • What according to Backman is the progenitor of the university? how does he explain its structure? • What were some of the problems that arose with these institutions? • What was the primary method of instruction? What were the main texts that people attempted to master? • How did developments in legal scholarship at this time change the basis of law from groups of people to territories? Why is this important? • How was Roman law adapted to other countries so as to encourage systematization of law all over Europe? • What institutions supported the study of science in the Islamic world? • What contributions did Jewish scientists make? What were the limitations of their contributions?
Courtly and Popular literature • Genres: • Chanson de Geste(Raoul de Cambrai, source 6.18) • what do you think motivates Raoul? Do you have any sympathy for his position? What do you make of the actions he takes? How does he respond to people who try to persuade him otherwise, and why? • Troubadour songs (Sources 6.19, 6.21; contrast source 6.20) • What is the overall mood these poems seek to create? Why might they be so pupular? • Courtly Love (Guigemar) • Pay attention to the lady in the development of the young man’s character • Fabliaux (Source 6.22) • How is social class marked in this selection? • Terms: • Mystery, morality, and miracle plays • Courtesy • Questions: • What was the status of vernacular literature in the medieval period, and why? • How does Rosenwein interpret courtly love? Compare her account with Backman's. How did chivalry change the self-image of a knight?